Ct87XPe0pUmJkdOM3ke6vw Anglo Saxon Chronicles

Anglo Saxon Chronicles

English translation

Section Reference 419


A.D. 1009. This year were the ships ready, that we before spoke about; and there were so many of them as never were in England before, in any king's days, as books tell us. And they were all transported together to Sandwich; that they should lie there, and defend this land against any out-force. But we have not yet had the prosperity and the honour, that the naval armament should be useful to this land, any more than it often before was. It was at this same time, or a little earlier, that Brihtric, brother of Alderman Edric, bewrayed Wulnoth, the South-Saxon knight, father of Earl Godwin, to the king; and he went into exile, and enticed the navy, till he had with him twenty ships; with which he plundered everywhere by the south coast, and wrought every kind of mischief. When it was told the navy that they might easily seize him, if they would look about them, then took Brihtric with him eighty ships; and thought that he should acquire for himself much reputation, by getting Wulnoth into his hands alive or dead. But, whilst they were proceeding thitherward, there came such a wind against them, as no man remembered before; which beat and tossed the ships, and drove them aground; whereupon Wulnoth soon came, and burned them. When this was known to the remaining ships, where the king was, how the others fared, it was then as if all were lost. The king went home, with the aldermen and the nobility; and thus lightly did they forsake the ships; whilst the men that were in them rowed them back to London. Thus lightly did they suffer the labour of all the people to be in vain; nor was the terror lessened, as all England hoped. When this naval expedition was thus ended, then came, soon after Lammas, the formidable army of the enemy, called Thurkill's army, to Sandwich; and soon they bent their march to Canterbury; which city they would quickly have stormed, had they not rather desired peace; and all the men of East-Kent made peace with the army, and gave them 3,000 pounds for security. The army soon after that went about till they came to the Isle of Wight; and everywhere in Sussex, and in Hampshire, and also in Berkshire, they plundered and burned, as THEIR CUSTOM IS. Then ordered the king to summon out all the population, that men might hold firm against them on every side; but nevertheless they marched as they pleased. On one occasion the king had begun his march before them, as they proceeded to their ships, and all the people were ready to fall upon them; but the plan was then frustrated through Alderman Edric, AS IT EVER IS STILL. Then after Martinmas they went back again to Kent, and chose their winter-quarters on the Thames; obtaining their provisions from Essex, and from the shires that were next, on both sides of the Thames. And oft they fought against the city of London; but glory be to God, that it yet standeth firm: and they ever there met with ill fare. Then after midwinter took they an excursion up through Chiltern, and so to Oxford; which city they burned, and plundered on both sides of the Thames to their ships. Being fore-warned that there was an army gathered against them at London, they went over at Staines; and thus were they in motion all the winter, and in spring, appeared again in Kent, and repaired their ships.

15 December 2019 anglo, saxon, chronicles, english, history, translated Read Book